Aham brahmasmi. I create therefore I am


Aham brahmasmi. I create therefore I am.

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Yoga Class


During breath retention

I do not see the class sitting

silent cross-legged on their mats

I see all of us thronging at the pearly gates

waiting for entry.

Some of us get a view through the wrought iron bars,

but only rarely does one pass through.

Most of us do not even know the gates exist.

Theatre review- two rants and a rave


Theatre review- two rants and a ravePosted on February 12, 2013 Rate ThisA Quiet Desire , devised and directed by F. Alkazi- an evident display of Alkazi’s awe and respect for Rabindranath Tagore. The high fidelity script had enough purple prose and lilt of Rabindra Sangeet to tickle Tagore pink The frilly Bengali blouses and four poster beds were all faithful and true. Young Rabi has unusual relationship with sister-in-law Kadambari while brother Jyotindranath looks on. So far the play had all the makings of a winner. Problem was, young Rabi’s character was just that-too young. He looked as if all that he knew about love could be put in an Archies Valentine’s Day card. Jyotindranath’s character didn’t know how he was supposed to feel, so he decided to be a study in indifference instead. And Kadambari’s character looked as if the Bengali word ‘neka’ was made for her. Peevish, needy and demanding her suicide seemed more like a hissy fit than a great act of unrequited love. The last Alkazi play I had seen was an adaptation of Julius Caesar. There,I thought Alkazi’s directorial technique of military formations and rapid entries and exits was not only an extraordinary symmetry of visual movement but a clever way to break the stasis of dialogue delivery. But the same technique employed here may have worked better if the adaptation was gangster rap and not a period Bengali household setting.The second play, Revisiting the Epics by Sujata Bali had certain fusion elements that were a pleasant change from the usual. The transitions from English to Hindi to Sanskrit were so seamless that I did not notice when the characters started speaking a different language. The elements of Chau and Kalari in the dance choreography took the performance to several almost giddy high points. Draupadi’s ‘cheerharan’, and the slaying of young Abhimanyu had that moment every actor dreams about- a hush in the audience. The downer for me was Sita pining for Ram in Ashok Vatika. The dancer’s movements had the allure of a seductive Bollywood item, not the power of two universal primal forces that is Ram and Sita.My grouse is that given the oceans that the epics are, and how generously they hand out insights to anyone how cares to dive deeper, the script had nothing new to give me. That Draupadi had a thing for Karan was not revelation enough, and Ram and Ravan live within us- aw come on!For me, the return gift was Tom Alter and others of his gray haired ilk like Chander Khanna. The polished timbre of their stage voices, simple hand gestures spoke not only a deeper narrative, but of a lifetime well spent living and loving theatre. And I think plays like these in Gurgaon and everywhere else are a rousing call to these second lifers, who in the business of earning their living never gave up their passion- to come out of the woodwork, to dust off forgotten scripts and smell the stage paint again, because -they are worth it.

via Theatre review- two rants and a rave.

Theatre review- two rants and a rave


A Quiet Desire , devised and directed by F. Alkazi- an evident display of Alkazi’s awe and respect for Rabindranath Tagore. The high fidelity script had enough purple prose and lilt of Rabindra Sangeet to tickle Tagore pink The frilly Bengali blouses and four poster beds were all faithful and true. Young Rabi has unusual relationship with sister-in-law Kadambari while brother Jyotindranath looks on. So far the play had all the makings of a winner. Problem was, young Rabi’s character was just that-too young. He looked as if all that he knew about love could be put in an Archies Valentine’s Day card. Jyotindranath’s character didn’t know how he was supposed to feel, so he decided to be a study in indifference instead. And Kadambari’s character looked as if the Bengali word ‘neka’  was made for her. Peevish, needy and demanding her suicide seemed more like a hissy fit than a great act of unrequited love. The last Alkazi play I had seen was an adaptation of Julius Caesar. There,I thought Alkazi’s directorial technique of military formations and rapid entries and exits was not only an extraordinary symmetry of visual movement but a clever way to  break the stasis of dialogue delivery. But the same technique employed here may have worked better if the adaptation was gangster rap and not a  period Bengali household setting.

The second play, Revisiting the Epics by Sujata Bali had certain fusion elements that were a pleasant change from the usual. The transitions from English to Hindi to Sanskrit were so seamless that I did not notice when the characters started speaking a different language. The elements of Chau and Kalari in the dance choreography took the performance to several almost giddy high points. Draupadi’s ‘cheerharan’, and the slaying of young Abhimanyu had that moment every actor dreams about- a hush in the audience. The downer for me was Sita pining for Ram in Ashok Vatika. The dancer’s movements had the allure of a seductive Bollywood item, not the power of two universal primal forces that is Ram and Sita.My grouse is that given the oceans that the epics are, and how generously they hand out insights to anyone how cares to dive deeper, the script had nothing new to give me. That Draupadi had a thing for Karan was not revelation enough, and Ram and Ravan live within us- aw come on!

For me, the return gift was Tom Alter and others of his gray haired ilk like Chander Khanna. The polished timbre of their stage voices, simple hand gestures spoke not only a deeper narrative, but of a lifetime well spent living and loving theatre. And I think plays like these in Gurgaon and everywhere else are a rousing call to these second lifers, who in the business of earning their living never gave up their passion- to come out of the woodwork, to dust off forgotten scripts and smell the stage paint again, because -they are worth it.